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News/Business. Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran, Bill Weir. In-depth reporting on news and events with Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran and Bill Weir. New. (HD) (CC)

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U.s. 9, Benghazi 8, Tokyo 5, Tripoli 5, Us 5, Libya 4, America 4, Moammar Gadhafi 3, Ingrid Bergman 2, Humphrey Bogart 2, Benadryl 2, Martha Raddatz 2, Alex Marquardt 2, France 1, Obama 1, Hollywood 1, Cleveland 1, Tobruk 1, Britain 1, Abdel Goga 1,
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  ABC    Nightline    News/Business. Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran, Bill Weir.  
   In-depth reporting on news and events with Cynthia McFadden,...  

    March 21, 2011
    11:35 - 12:00am EDT  

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. tonight on "nightline," target, libya. we have the latest on tonight's fighting. but as president obama leads the u.s. into a third war in a muslim country, many wonder who exactly are we fighting for? we'll take you on a journey to a rebel stronghold for answers. nuclear reality check. it's in the air, it's in the food, it's in the ocean. the fallout from japan's atomic catastrophe. do we know how far the radiation is spreading? what you need to know. and the best kiss. this one was good. that one wasn't bad but no two hollywood smooches are alike.
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what was the greatest of all, the results next. good evening, i'm bill weir. missiles and muzzle fire are lighting up the north african sky tonight as america and her allies continue to destroy the defenses of moammar gadhafi. the mission, according to president obama, was to stop the libyan dictate they are slaughtering more of his own people, but getting rid of gadhafi, not our job. for the moment, that task is still in the hands of a ragged group of rebels, and with more american blood and treasure on the line alexander markardt set out to find out.
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>> reporter: hundreds of cruise missile attacks against military posts. two slamming into a command and control facility in libyan government compounds. earlier this morning at first light, my team and i traveled from the city of tobruk to the city of benghazi. the heart of this rebellion against this mercurial dictator moammar gadhafi. america and its al lies have vowed to protect the people here. the city was deserted. there were roadblocks everywhere. almost no one in the streets. the shops were shuttered. four days ago gadhafi vowed to level benghazi. "we are coming. we are looking for the traitors," he said "and shall have no mercy or compassion. "it's been terrifying the last few days," this man told us. as the day went on, the crowds grew, by late afternoon a rally of hundreds had formed.
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after days of attack the people of benghazi are back out on the streets not just celebrating but leaving benghazi heading west taking the fight to the gadhafi forces. their message, they welcome the international air strikes. women came out to join the men on the streets. celebrating the operation. "if the rebel, the british and the americans will not kill him, the women of libya will fight gadhafi forces," this woman said. more than 600 miles away in tripoli, forces loyal to gadhafi tightened their grip on the capital checking everyone coming and going. earlier today president obama remained unclear about just how long the united states would remain involved, in this, its third war in a muslim country. >> obviously the situation is evolving on the ground. the first phase of the mission has been completed. >> reporter: but in benghazi, the rebels were already showing off trophies from this new phase of the war, one of gadhafi's
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tanks rolled into town with great fanfare. at opposition headquarters, abdel goga said new life had been breathed into the uprising and thanked the coalition. "we will remember all the efforts by the international community," he said. "all the countries participating in protect the libyan people and giving them the safety they deserve." he was unfazed when asked about the doubts the u.s. has about him and his colleagues. you understand there is a lot of apprehension in the united states, the government feels like they don't know you very well. >> yes. "we really do understand american fears," he said. assuring us they want democracy with political parties, a new constitution and elections. but americans after all know very little about the libyan opposition movement and the truth is several of their leaders were just last month still members of the gadhafi
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government, the head is this man, mustafa abdeljalil. before he was the justice minister and quit just days after gadhafi ordered violence against his own people and the man running the military offensive is a former special forces general who has worked with him for decades until recently general abdel fatah younis was head of the feared interior minister. now he leads a ragtag disorganized force of mostly undertrained, underequipped volunteers until the coalition stepped in, they were facing gadhafi's far superior firepower with small and outdated weapons. there has been a lot of death. in benghazi we were approached by a father trying to find his 27-year-old son. he lost his 30-year-old son in recent clashes. he showed his photo on the
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martyr wall dedicated to those who died in the rupp rising. "we hope it will stop" he said. "this war was imposed on us. it was a peaceful process until gadhafi started the killing. he started the shelling. he was imposing a siege on every city." in spite of the terrible loss, today morale is high in benghazi. the inter-zheng by the u.s., france, britain and the arab countries have lifted their spirits but the rebel forces have their eye on the ultimate prize, gadhafi's capital, their capital, tripoli and the overthrow of colonel moammar gadhafi. for "nightline." i'm alex marquardt in benghazi, libya. >> our thanks to alex. more from martha raddatz. good to see you again. so playing off ariel lex's piece there, if we're not really sure who the rebels are, what happens if they start attacking civilians in tripoli, for example?
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who is calling the shots? >> reporter: well, that's really a key question because the general who is in charge right now, the u.s. general carter ham said today that's a real problem. some of the rebels are civilian, others have help weapons so if those rebels started moving towards tripoli, will they protect civilians in tripoli? he basically said we don't really know the answer to that question. >> and is general ham ultimately the man in charge at this moment and how long will that last? >> reporter: he's the man in charge this moment but what he basically does is kind of like a pickup basketball game. you got the british, you got the french and they've all got their different ideas about what they're doing in libya. in fact, the first day they started on saturday, the u.s. really didn't know the french were sending up fighter jets before the cruise missiles were launched and carter ham says let's put aircraft here, the french go here, the british go here but they individually seem to be deciding what it is they will do. there's no real leadership of
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the whole theater there. >> the norwegians were so frustrated by that they turned around and flew home midflight as you reported. our thanks to martha raddatz and alex marquardt. when we come back, it is day 11 of japan's nuclear crisis so we have up-to-the-minute details at what's going on at the failed reactors and whether japan is now exporting radiation. your advertising mail campaign is paying off! business is good! it must be if you're doing all that overnight shipping. that must cost a fortune. it sure does. well, if it doesn't have to get there overnight, you can save a lot with priority mail flat rate envelopes. one flat rate to any state, just $4.95. that's cool and all... but it ain't my money. i seriously do not care... so, you don't care what anyone says, you want to save this company money! that's exactly what i was saying. hmmm... priority mail flat rate envelopes, just $4.95 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
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for anyone would lived through duck and cover or chernobyl and three mile island, the term acceptable radiation may seem like an ox moron but fukushima, japan, is providing daily lessons and reasonable
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fear so tonight we set out to get a reality check on exactly what we know about those smoldering reactors and exactly what the smartest atomic minds say we should do about them. here's david wright. >> reporter: today the train to tokyo was pretty much empty. at 8:00 a.m. monday morning, it should be fuller than this but these days many choose not to travel to tokyo if they can avoid it for obvious reasons. but are those fears well founded? tough to tell. u.s. nuclear regulatory officials who have been monitoring the situation closely offered an upbeat assessment this morning. >> i would say optimistically things appear to be on the verge of stabilizing. >> reporter: that assessment even after a dark cloud of smoke puffed out of reactor three last night forcing emergency workers on site to evacuate. >> every day or so it looks as if we have it just within our
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grasps, stability and then something happens to set us back. >> reporter: japan's top government spokesman last night cautioned against jumping to the conclusion that the reactor itself is on fire. "there are plenty of other flammable things in the reactor building" he told reporters, "not just the plutonium fuel rods." just imagine what jon stewart would do with a quote like this. not likely as bad as chernobyl. not even as bad as three mile island. the japan syndrome would most likely not look anything like the china syndrome. >> we have a serious condition. >> reporter: that vintage reactor in the movie did not have the concrete and steel casing that the fukushima plant does to contain the radiation and even though in japan those structures are now badly damaged, they still manage to contain much of what otherwise would be pouring out. but what if that were to change? >> let's say there's a secondary earthquake. let's say there's a pipe break.
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maybe the workers have to be evacuated as a consequence. at that point we are in free fall. >> reporter: another big question, where is it safe in japan to be right now? the japanese government initially ordered everyone within 12 miles of the fukushima plant to evacuate and told people up to 19 miles away to close their windows and stay inside. >> unless this is a new law of physician seconds that the wind stops blowing at 12 miles, utility is in detile. >> reporter: the u.s. was more cautious asking americans within 50 miles to leave but the reality is radiation has now been detected in the tap water supplies of cities as far away as tokyo so where exactly are the danger zones? pretty much in the immediate vicinity of the reactor. >> people have a hysteria associated with radiation that they don't have associated with other types of exposures and other tragedies and right now on the ground even with what we know, the tsunami and the earthquake, the public health impacts of that, we're hearing about a potential of a cholera in japan. that's going to have a much more
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serious public impact than what we know about radiation exposure outside of the workers of the plant. >> reporter: another key question. are we at risk in the u.s.? the short answer, no. trace amounts of radiation from japan have shown up in california, but less exposure than you'd likely get from an airplane ride or a long chat on a cell phone. how safe is the food supply? much of the produce farmed in the region surrounding the reactor is already considered unsafe for human consumption, all of this milk, for instance, will have to be flown out and more items are bound to join the list. >> the products that are probably going to face catastrophic losses are going to be fruits and vegetables. food animals should already have been moved inside and their food and water protected. >> reporter: don't panic the government spokesman pleaded last night. most of these things you'd have to eat for a year to suffer any ill effects. u.s. experts pretty much agree.
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>> in the united states we probably don't have to worry there's going to be a major contamination of our food supply. even with chernobyl when the radiation went around the world all of us got a piece of it. i have a piece of chernobyl in my body. have you a piece of chernobyl in your boyd, as well. but it's minuscule. >> reporter: america gets less than 4% of its food imports from japan. much of it high-end items like sushi chi, sake and kobe beef. the producers have a strong interest in protecting profitable brands. >> i think i'd feel fine ordering sushi whether i was in new york or hong kong. >> reporter: but she says she'd think twice before ordering it right now in tokyo. i'm david wright for "nightline" in tokyo. >> some reassuring words from david tonight. thanks for that. coming up next we'll try to lighten things considerably with a nationwide poll to answer the pressing question, what was the best movie kiss of all time?
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the academy hollywood had to thank you after each oscar envelope? that's the thinking that went into our project over the last year, abc news and pima county magazine asked americans for their favorite movies of all time. more than 500,000 votes were cast and here now cynthia mcfadden with some lip-smacking early results. >> reporter: hollywood used to have rules about kisses. a kiss couldn't last more than one to three seconds.
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the kissers could not be lying down. if one kisser was lying down, the other had to have at least one foot only on the floor. but eventually the kissing rules changed. from the first kiss to the kiss of death. >> i know it was you fredo. you broke my heart. >> reporter: to the forbidden kiss. to the kiss that makes your blood rush. a sexy kiss can be the best thing about the movie. what did you think was the best movie kiss of all time? she was the woman of his dream, they fell in love in paris and then she disappeared. at number five humphrey bogart and ingrid bergman in "casablanca." >> you knew how much i loved you. how much i still love you.
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>> the kiss between humphrey bogart and ingrid bergman is so powerful because it's so tragic. they can't be together and they know it ♪ a kiss is just a kiss." >> reporter: at number four she's a bad boy. she's the blue collar girl he won't admit too until he becomes an officer. in real life they felt anything but romantic. >> they hated each other. they couldn't stand each other on set. he said he did it for the money. she said working with him is like working with a wall. >> reporter: the kiss is a cinderella ending. richard gere in a shining white suit walks into his girlfriend's factory and rescues her from a drab working class existence. >> it's so cinematically perfect. you try that in real life. you're likely to throw out your
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back but on film, beautiful. ♪ this kiss this kiss >> reporter: he's a bad boy mutt and she's a purebred. it makes for some major animal attraction. our number three best kiss, "lady and the tramp." ♪ side by side with your loved one ♪ ♪ you'll find the enchantment >> people don't see animation as a medium that's going to convey depth and emotion and warmth and there you have a moment in "lady and the tramp" where a strand of spaghetti turns into one of the most romantic moments on film ever. >> reporter: if parody is the most sincerest form of flattery it has to be the most cherish sfwld don't do that. that's what they expect you to do ♪ this kiss this kiss it's
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critical ♪ >> reporter: and number two, a movie based on a novel so raw and racy for its time that it was considered unfilmable. "from here to eternity." ♪ >> that was an incredibly sexual kiss. i mean a sexual kiss that you would ve ever seen in a studio movie made up until that point of time. >> i knew love could be like this. nobody ever kissed me the way you do. >> reporter: during the scene the sand was literally a pain in the -- well, you can imagine. >> i have to say, yeah, try that in real life. you will find out that you have sand in places that you did not know you had places. ♪ it's that pivotal moment it's ah subliminal ♪ >> to find out the best kiss and winners in ten other